Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and at over three kilometres is arguably the highest navigable lake in the world**, shared by Peru and Bolivia. In spite of claims to the contrary it is a fresh water lake, but is slowly reducing in size due reduced inflow from the retreating Andean glaciers. Lake Poopó to the south has now dried out completely(a).
***Karakul in Tajikistan exists at 4,000 metres and “is so salty, it’s almost impossible to navigate a boat on it without capsizing due to the vessel riding so far out of the water.”(e)*
To the south of the lake are remarkable archaeological remains of Tiwanaku and the equally exciting Puma Punku. Both sites have produced some extreme theories regarding the builders of these monuments, their technology level and the date of their construction. Arthur Posnansky, followed by Kurt Bilau have proposed a date of circa 9500 BC as the date of fall of Tiwanaku. There are also reports of pre-Incan structures submerged in Titicaca(d) .
South of Lake Titicaca, near Lake Poopó is Pampa Aullagus, a site identified by Jim Allen as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. While there is little doubt that advanced cultures existed around Titicaca, linking the region to Plato’s story is stretching credibility to its limits. I have already argued in respect of Jim Allen’s Andean theory, that the idea of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by an army from the west side of South America is untenable. That they would try it in reed boats like those of Titicaca is equally daft. Then, that this mighty army from ten regions of South America were defeated by the small city-state of Athens is just as laughable.
Equally questionable is the idea that there was a Sumerian presence around Titicaca, in relation to which Clyde Winters quotes(b) James Bailey as well as Ruth and A. Hyatt Verrill in supporting the idea that Lake Manu in Sumerian tradition was in fact Titicaca. The controversial(c) Fuente Magna bowl is also offered as evidence of this idea.
The Fuente Magna Bowl is a remarkable artefact sometimes called ‘the Rosetta Stone of the Americas.’ It was discovered accidentally near Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The bowl’s claim to fame is that it has been inscribed with cuneiform writing, similar to Sumerian.
It is claimed that thermoluminescence dating has shown the object to be quite ancient and not a forgery. The same site(a) quotes at length a translation of the text by Clyde Winters, but a German website(b) denounces his translation as nonsense, although it accepts that the Bowl as genuine. Another site(c) offers a selection of detailed images of the Bowl.
Carl Feagans’ website(f) is equally critical of Winters’ ‘translation’ and raises a number of questions regarding the authenticity of the artefact.
Jim Allen and his supporters have sought to link the Bowl with the theory of Atlantis in the Andes(d).
The bad archaeology website has reasonably balanced article(e) on the bowl which should be read.
Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) was born in Russia and grew up in Palestine where he studied ancient Semitic languages and became one of the few to master the reading of the cuneiform writing of the Sumerians. After studying at the London School of Economics he took up a career in journalism. There are some questions regarding his academic credentials that were briefly explored by Frank Dörnenburg(g).
Then Sitchin began to develop his theory of ancient astronauts visiting earth in the past from the planet Nibiru (Planet X) and their colonisation of territory in what is now part of Iraq and the genetic manipulation of humans there. He based his theories on his interpretation of Sumerian cuneiform tablets. He also claimed that Nibiru had an orbit that took it to the outer reaches of the solar system and would return soon.
The late Alan F. Alford was initially an enthusiastic supporter of Sitchin’s ancient astronaut ideas but later recanted(k).
Understandably, his ideas provoked a storm of controversy that lasted until his death and after. For my part, I cannot understand how a race capable of space travel did not teach the Sumerian ancestors a writing system better than cuneiform and a medium better than clay tablets. Furthermore, the idea that the climate of a planet with such an unusual orbit could support the development of an advanced race capable of surviving the consequent extremes of temperature, is something I also find hard to comprehend.
Ian Lawton, the British researcher, wrote a rebuttal of Sitchin’s theories ten years ago(a). Further refutation came from Dörnenburg as well as on the PaleoBabble website(b) of Michael S. Heiser(e), a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East. Heiser has another website with the blunt title of sitchiniswrong.com, which includes an overview of what he perceives as Sitchin’s errors(l).
In late 2017 and early 2018, a two-part article(i)(j) by two young researchers, Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer added further criticism of Sitchin’s linguistic capabilities. On March 13th 2018, Clyde Winters also published on the same website a further refutation of Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of the Sumerian seals.
In 2021, Jarrell & Farmer wrote a two-part article about the Anunnaki (m)(n), in which they concluded “that rather than making the Anunnaki the equivalent of the “Elohim” who created man in the Book of Genesis; they should more properly be compared to the Nephilim and the fallen angels described in Genesis Chapter 6, 1 Enoch, and other extra-biblical texts.”
Additional scathing criticism came from a Christian website claiming that Sitchin had an agenda coloured by his association with the Masonic Order!
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(c) to the probability that Sitchin drew on the work of the British Assyriologist, George Smith (1840-1876), but distorted Smith’s conclusions to bolster his own theories.
Sitchin did not address the question of Atlantis directly until 2004 when he devoted a chapter of The Earth Chronicles Expeditions +, where he considered the Minoan Hypothesis and found it wanting. He did not propose any specific location but suggested that there was a possible transatlantic connection. In the same chapter three, he discusses at some length the Phaistos Disk and a possible association with Atlantis! However, his broader views did find favour with a number of fringe Atlantis commentators such as the late Rob Solarion, Andrews and Zeitlmair.
Another follower of Sitchin, Thomas Ashmore, has suggested that some of the Annunaki ‘gods’ were exiled to Scandinavia where their deeds were preserved in Norse mythology(d). Further support came from William L. Saylor in a series of articles(o).
Some of Sitchin’s other books such as The Twelfth Planet + and Genesis Revisited + are available online. In 2015, Sitchin’s niece, Janet Sitchin included some previously unpublished material of uncle’s in The Annunaki Chronicles. A rather negative review(h) was offered by essayist Noel Rooney.
J. Douglas Kenyon, the editor of Atlantis Rising magazine, wrote a review (Issue 5) of Sitchin’s work and its reception by both public and professionals.
As of March 2022, Sitchin’s website was still live.(q)
(d) Nexus, Dec 2013/Jan 2014, (p.41)
(g) See Archive 2909
(h) Fortean Times FT342, July 2016 (p.59)
(k) https://www.eridu.co.uk (link broken July 2018)
Clyde Ahmad Winters was born in Chicago where he graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana with degrees in Anthropology and History. His interests also extend to neurobiological learning, linguistics and ancient scripts. Dr. Winters claims to have deciphered the writings of the Berber, Meroitic, Olmec and the Indus Valley cultures. He is a prominent advocate of Afrocentricity, but unfortunately he has allowed his support for this controversial concept to induce him to offer unqualified support for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
In 2016, Winters ventured to resurrect interest in the long discredited ‘elephant slabs of Flora Vista’, claiming that they offered evidence of elephants in America, which had been brought there by African visitors(b). Jason Colavito had already refuted the authenticity of the ‘slabs’ in 2012(c) and has again sharpened his pen to deal with Winters’ latest offering(d).
Our interest in Dr. Winters is his contention that the Olmecs ‘were the descendents of the Atlanteans that formerly lived in ancient Libya’, and the book[496.13] he wrote supporting this notion. The book is available both in paperback and as an eBook(a). Unfortunately, while he offers considerable evidence that Mesoamerica had a discernable cultural input from Africa he fails to convincingly link this with Plato’s Atlantis. In fact, he makes only a single cursory reference to Plato’s text.
Winters has now turned his attention to the idea of Sumerian visits to South America in a 2015 book and website articles(e).*In March 13th 2018, he wrote a paper(f) for the Ancient Origins website refuting Zecharia Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ interpretation of some of the Sumerian seals.*
Winters published a revised version of his Atlantis in Mexico in 2013.
The Olmecs flourished around 1200 BC on the southern Gulf coast of Mexico and spread their influence in Central America from Belize to Costa Rica until around 300 BC when they just disappeared!
David Childress wrote an interesting article(c) on what little is known about the origin of the Olmecs in the 2007 Sept/Oct. issue of Atlantis Rising magazine. This was one of a number of promotional pieces(e) for his book The Mystery of the Olmecs published earlier that year. In early 2014, Frank Johnson published a lengthy paper(f) debunking Childress’ Olmec book, with further criticism from Jason Colavito following shortly afterwards(g).
Jacques de Mahieu, the French Nazi, claimed that the Olmecs were descended from refugees that fled from Troy after the Trojan War. He goes further claiming that the Trojans had originally come from Scandinavia!
The Olmecs have been linked by a variety of writers with Atlantis. The first Latin writer of Aztec history was Fernando de Alva Cortes Ixitilxochill, of Aztec lineage, who maintained that the Olmecs had come to Eastern Mexico from the Antilles via Florida.
At the end of the 17th century, a former Jesuit, Don Carlos de Sigüenza y Gongora who had befriended the son of Ixitilxochill was allegedly in possession of a remarkable collection of native manuscripts that had escaped the insane mass burnings of the 15th century. He believed that the earliest inhabitants of Mexico had come from Atlantis. The Olmecs who preceded the Toltecs were not identified until the 19th century.
The 1973 discovery of a grooved 3.5 cm hematite bar by Michael D. Coe at the San Lorenzo site led researchers to immediate conjectural comment. In 1979, Robert Temple wrote two articles(o)(p), for Second Look magazine, on this find and the possibility of Olmec knowledge of magnetism. However, wild speculation led to the conclusion from this single artefact that the Olmecs had invented the compass. This assumption led to the further suggestion(j)(k) that the Olmecs had advanced navigational skills and with a final leap of imagination decided therefore that they had arrived in America from their homeland, Atlantis!
Ivar Zapp & George Erikson use the stone spheres of Costa Rica as the starting point for their controversial book on Atlantis, insisting on a connection between the stones and the Olmecs. Gene Matlock considers the Olmecs to have had Hindu origins(t) and to be possible survivors from Atlantis and Clyde Winters holds similar views and has supported them with his book  on the subject. In the same book[p.13] he offers Libya as the home of Atlantis, while elsewhere Matlock suggested(d) that the Olmecs were Turkish! Nevertheless, this speculative suggestion that the Olmecs were possibly Atlantean survivors has persisted until today, without a shred of any real evidence(aa).
However, Afrocentrist, Paul Barton, claims(m) that the Olmecs came from the Mende people of West Africa who are now one of the principal ethnic groups of Sierra Leone. Alessandro Demontis, who is something of a Zecharia Sitchin apologist, has written a short paper(r) on the leading proponents of the concept of an African origin for the Olmecs and argues that the academic background of many of them demands greater consideration of their viewpoint. Demontis thinks that to simply dismiss them as pseudoscientists is unwarranted.
>The Negroid features that are clearly to be seen on some of the huge beautifully carved Olmec heads are probably evidence of an ancient link with Africa and nothing more. 17 heads have been discovered so far and like so many other megalithic monuments around the world have raised comparable questions. Some of the heads are up to 10 or more feet in height and weigh up to 12 tons.<
The basalt stone used to carve the heads were often located many miles from their resting places, so the questions of how they were quarried and transported remain unanswered(ab).
Many think that the Olmec heads are the only evidence for pre-Columbian links with Africa, however, that is far from the truth as dozens if not hundreds of artefacts displaying African features have been discovered in the Americas(u)(v), although I cannot help noting that there is an obvious Asian influence in some of the figures!
On balance, I do not think that any credible case for identifying the Olmecs with Atlantis has yet been made. However, in my opinion, a far more convincing case has been made for linking the Chinese with the Olmecs(a)(b) and in that regard, the book by Dr H. Mike Xu, Origin of the Olmec Civilisation, is worth a read. Similarly, Charlotte Harris Rees has compiled a vast collection of data linking the Chinese with America in her Secret Maps of the Ancient World. She devotes chapter 4 to the Olmecs. Jacques Gossart has also reviewed(l) the evidence for the Chinese ancestry of the Olmecs. R.A. Jairazbhoy proposed in his book Ancient Egyptians and Chinese in America that as well as Chinese, there are also Semitic, Egyptian and African traces to be found among the Olmecs.
Archaeologist Betty J. Meggers (1921-2012), who worked at the Smithsonian Institution has made a study of the apparent cultural similarities between the Chinese Shang dynasty of c.1750 BC and the Olmecs dated to some centuries later. This she did in a lengthy paper in American Anthropologist in 1974(w).
Many Mormons believe that the Olmecs were the Jaredites who are only referred to in their Book of Ether. This idea has been developed in a short Kindle book by John Dreha.
This multiplicity of suggested origins for the Olmecs is confusing and was made more so by the observations of Bibhu Dev Misra that many Olmec artefacts show figures adopting a range of yogic poses, which adds to the possibility of an Indian cultural influence. His 2017 illustrated paper on Graham Hancock’s website is intriguing(x).
In 2006 it was announced(a) that a stone slab was discovered in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz, which appears to be the earliest known writing in the Americas and attributed to the Olmecs and dated to around 900 BC.
The most extreme theory regarding the Olmecs that I have found, is the claim that they were astronauts. This idea was expressed(h) by Xavier Séguin, quoting US astronaut Gordon Cooper ! However, I discovered Séguin to be unreliable when I found that he also quoted the words of a fictional character, Professor Mortimer, from a work by the renowned writer, Edgar P. Jacobs, as supposedly uttered by a real scientist(n), concerning the Pillars of Heracles.
Zechariah Sitchin in The Lost Realms  claims that the Olmecs were culture bearers who arrived in America circa 3000 BC, which conflicts with the date of 1500 BC proposed by conventional archaeology. Sitchin also quoted(s) Cooper’s heavily panned book, A Leap of Faith  in which he offered supporting evidence from a leading Mexican archaeologist, Pablo Bush Romero, for Sitchin’s early date for the Olmecs(y).
In 2006, it was announced(i) that a stone slab was discovered in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz, which appears to be the earliest known writing in the Americas and attributed to the Olmecs and dated to around 900 BC.
May 2017 brought an interesting article(q), on the Ancient Origins website, outlining the unique features of the Olmecs. Three years later AO published another article offering further information about the Olmec culture(z).
(a) See Archive 2532
(e) https://www.transformtheillusion.com/articles/David%20Childress/The%20Mystery%20of%20the%20Origin%20of%20the%20Olmecs%20.html (offline Nov. 2016) see Archive 2294
(f) https://ancientaliensdebunked.com/mystery-solved-olmecs-and-transoceanic-contact/ (offline May 2018) See: Archive 2295
(j) See: Archive 2776
(y) Atlantis Rising magazine #26 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(ab) Atlantis Rising magazine #57 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At *
>Mexico, according to the most recent evidence has pushed back the arrival date of the first people to the southern regions of the country to around 30,000 BC(e).<
Mexico has not been ignored by Atlantis seekers. As early as the 17th century Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora suggested that the indigenous people of Mexico had come from Atlantis after an earlier migration from Egypt. Louis de Launay, the French geologist, proposed in 1936, the possibility of such a link possible in 1936. More recently Gene Matlock has promoted the idea again with his own twist to the theory involving a link with ancient India. His ideas are available online(d).
An interesting attempt at linking Plato’s Atlantis story with the Valley of Mexico can be found on the Internet(a) in an article by Ed Ziomek that looks at possible links between the Old World and the Americas 5,000 years before Columbus.
Clyde Winters has published his views that the Olmecs were descendants of Atlanteans who came from Libya in North Africa. However, another Afrocentrist Paul Barton claims(c) that the Olmecs came from the Mende people of West Africa who are now one of the principal ethnic groups of Sierra Leone.
A Mexican engineer, Eduardo Robles y Gutierrez, while working in Vera Cruz, discovered the foundations of an ancient city about 30 miles from the coast, in and near what is now the jungle-covered region of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. He has identified that ancient city, with its concentric channels lined with high banks, as had Plato’s Atlantis. The site had been pillaged by the Spanish who consigned considerable treasure back to Spain. His investigations were also published in Mexico as La Atlántida Está en México.
The fact that many Mexican placenames begin with ‘atl’ has prompted a number of commentators to erroneously assume a connection with ‘atl’antis.
A Mexican website(b) informs us that there is a village called ‘Atlantis’ in the Municipality of Cacahoatán (State of Chiapas). It has 8 people and is at a height of 550 meters.
(a) https://www.world.mysteries.com/gw_edziom2.htm (offline) see https://www.eupedia.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-9206.html
(b) Mexico.pueblosamerica.com/i/la-Atlantean/ (offline)